India has continued its incredible run in the World Cup cricket tournament, bowling another team out as it recorded a 109-run win over Bangladesh to enter the semi-finals.
But this could not have been achieved had one umpiring error not gone India’s way.
At three for 196, India looked like it would go on to make a big total at the MCG, having chosen to bat after winning the toss.
But then Rohit Sharma, on 90, hit the fourth ball of the 40th over, bowled by Rubel Hossain, straight down the throat of deep midwicket fielder Imrul Kayes. Had this dismissal stood, then Bangladesh would have had a chance of reining India in as Rohit had carried the innings until that point, combining with Suresh Raina to take India forward from a shaky 3 for 115.
But the square-leg umpire Aleem Dar, who had earlier been bitten by a wasp, signalled a no-ball. In Dar’s opinion, the ball was above waist-level. This was clearly not correct as Rohit connected with the ball below waist-level after he had advanced a couple of steps from the crease.
And the trajectory of the ball was downwards, so it was nowhere near waist-level.
Taking his cue from Dar, the umpire at the bowler’s end, Ian Gould, signalled the no-ball and Rohit came back to his crease and continued his innings. There was no effort to check with the video umpire whether the call was correct.
Rohit made another 47 runs at a spanking pace. By the time Raina fell, the pair had taken the score to 237. At 273, Rohit was finally out, bowled by young Taskin Ahmed.
India finally made 6 for 302. No team has ever chased 300 and won at the MCG.
With that statistic hovering over their heads, Bangladesh began their chase. They started ambitiously with Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes putting on 33. Tamim, it must be remembered, was the man who shone with the bat when Bangladesh defeated India in the 2007 World Cup.
But there was to be no repeat. Tamim fell to a catch behind off Umesh Yadav and the very next ball Kayes was smartly run out as Ravindra Jadeja fielded brilliantly; Yadav collected the return very efficiently and removed the bails at the bowler’s end.
No Bangladesh batsman made a good score, the highest being 35 by bowler Nasir Hossain. At least five others got starts, but none went beyond 30. The man who had made two hundreds in the Cup, Mohammad Mahmudullah, fell to a great catch on the boundary by Shikhar Dhawan who juggled the ball thrice before throwing it back into the field to make the catch legal.
The game ended on the last ball of the 45th over.
India has bowled out every team it has played in this tournament so far. It is doubtful that this fairytale run will continue if, as expected, it meets Australia for a place in the final.